China’s telecom regulator the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has issued bans to restrict anti-competitive behaviour from mobile operators, Want China Times reports. Telecom service providers are now prohibited from forming exclusive contracts with schools and cannot launch marketing campaigns that criticise their competitors. The watchdog’s decision follows moves from China’s wireless operators China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom to increase market shares by targeting new students. Amongst the tactics reported were defamatory attacks on rivals, vandalising of network infrastructure on school sites and the sending of SIM cards to students along with their acceptance letters.
Whilst the rate of mobile growth in China is still high, it has begun to slow down in recent months; according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database the quarterly growth of 3G subscribers decreased by 9.2 percentage points between Q2 2010 and Q2 2011 from 39.3% to 30.1%.